40 Years Ago in PGN: July 8-14, 2016

40 Years Ago in PGN: July 8-14, 2016

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Spruce Street bars step up ID checks

Adapted from reporting by Jeffrey Speicher

Three bars in the area of Spruce Street adopted strict carding policies after a rash of police raids in the summer of 1976. The bars were Steps, Allegro and Roscoe’s.

Police said they had received calls from people who complained of being denied entry.

At Steps, men were usually admitted without having to show identification. The idea was to keep the establishment largely male-attended. Women were carded consistently. Now all people wanting to enter would be asked to present identification proving their age.

All three bars reported cordial interactions between police, staff and customers. The owner of Allegro told PGN that the police were never “pushy or physical.” Police removed 12 people one night from Roscoe’s, 10 of whom were later released while the other two were charged with possession of illegal drugs.

The bars said the increased identification checks would remain in effect at least through the end of summer 1976.

Lesbian alumnae not allowed at Girls’ High prom

Adapted from reporting by Matt Wilson

After the administration of Girls’ High School refused to sell prom tickets to lesbian alumnae, a dozen of them protested outside the school at Broad and Olney streets at the end of May 1976.

“We’re protesting a history of intimidation and harassment at Girls’ High,” said Sherrie Cohen, one of the protesters. She went on to run for Philadelphia City Council twice. Mayor Jim Kenney recently married Cohen to Virginia Gutierrez on stage at Philly Pride 2016.

Some students wore lavender armbands and circulated a petition opposing discrimination to support the cause. Others said the protest damaged the school’s reputation.

Girls’ High administration initially agreed to a meeting to discuss the issues with lesbian alumnae and include lesbian literature in the curriculum. But the plans were later dropped.

 


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